(WKBN) — With the impending snow, many are trying to bundle up and stay warm — but there are steps people can take to make sure their pets are staying safe in the cold as well.
“The bulk of our calls have been animals out in the cold and people calling concerned of dogs without shelter, even livestock,” said Erica Rice with the Columbiana County Humane Society.
Rice said on Saturday alone the humane society saved eight puppies from freezing temperatures and said setting up sufficient shelter for pets is key.
“Proper shelter in Ohio is an insulated housing, so a wooden dog box filled with straw is a really good option, a lot of people try to use those plastic igloos. They provide no warmth,” Rice said.
She also said knowing about the dog’s breed is important.
“A pitbull out when it’s 17 degrees is probably going to be freezing to death whereas a Siberian husky with the storm that’s coming is probably going to be in its glory and say, ‘No, I don’t want to come in, I’m playing in the snow,'” Rice said.
Rice said if you’re bundled up to go outside, short-haired breeds and other house pets are also going to be cold.
“The other big concern is frozen water and that’s the big thing we see a lot of times, we’ll find a dog with a great dog house but a frozen bucket of water,” Rice said.
Rice said in Ohio, dogs must have access to fresh, clean and unfrozen water at all times. Options include heated water buckets and bowls. She said pet owners should also watch their pets feet for signs of frostbite.
“If you see your dog lifting their feet up continually like they’re not wanting to put them on the ground their feet are cold and probably starting to frostbite and they need to be taken in to a warm place to get up off the cold ground,” Rice said.
Ice can also cut dogs feet and snow can bunch up between their paw beds, resulting in painful ice balls.
“And when it does it get really cold or we’re having this snow event that’s about to happen, even if you have an outside dog it might be best to maybe let him stay in the garage for a while,” Rice said.